Purvis High school teacher turns herself in


A 34-year-old Columbia woman who was a teacher at Purvis High School turned herself in to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office last week after being accused of taking money from a vulnerable person for her own use, Attorney General Jim Hood announced Tuesday.

Devina Williamson was charged with one count of exploitation of a vulnerable adult for making more than $250 in debit card purchases from the account of the vulnerable victim. She was booked into the Marion/Walthall Correctional Facility on a $10,000 bond.

If convicted, Williamson faces up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith said Williamson notified her of the arrest Monday morning concerning “family matters.” Smith did not comment on the incident because it did not involve school activities

This case was investigated by Shannon Cook with the AG’s Vulnerable Adult Unit and will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander of the AG’s Public Integrity Division.

According to the Purvis High School website, Williamson is a mathematics and science teacher, a Math Ready Master Trainer and sponsor of the Junior Civitan Club at the school. She has taught school for eight years after graduation from Sumrall High School in 2001.

The Vulnerable Persons Unit was created by the Attorney General in 2001 in response to the revisions made by the Legislature of the Mississippi Vulnerable Adults Act. The Vulnerable Persons Unit investigates and prosecutes persons who abuse, neglect or exploit a vulnerable adult residing in a private home.

The Public Integrity Division’s staff of attorneys and investigators is responsible for the prosecution of several types of criminal cases in the state courts in Mississippi. As its primary mission, PID is charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting public corruption and white collar crime. The department works closely with various state agencies, such as the Mississippi Auditor’s Office and Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, as well as with federal agencies and local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of corrupt public employees or private citizens conducting business with the state in a fraudulent or otherwise illegal manner.